Gracewell of Horley Park Chef is UK’s Premier

Gracewell  |  August 24, 2017

Gracewell is celebrating after three of its chefs put in outstanding performances at the ‘Care Chef of the Year’ competition.

‘Care Chef of the Year’ is a competition run by Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare, carried out in partnership with Premier Foods – a leading supplier of quality British food.

The competition saw chefs from 46 Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare care homes across the country battle it out to find the tastiest main course and dessert, with the judges placing extra emphasis on the importance of producing a dysphasic version of each dish.

‘Care Chef of the Year’ was designed to provide an opportunity for chefs to develop new recipes and refresh their menus while helping the chefs to find inspiration and share ideas amongst themselves.

Damian Sidorowicz, the head chef at Gracewell of Horley Park care home in Surrey, triumphed over the 46 other competitors with a winning dish of cottage pie and rice pudding.

The judges praised Damian for the strong flavouring of his food, and his creativity in adapting the dish for dysphasic residents.

As a result of his win, Damian is now the proud owner of a set of Wusthof cooking knives and has also received a £1000 prize from Premier Foods, which he will spend on the community at Gracewell of Horley Park care home.

Also celebrating are Simon Lewis from Gracewell of Frome and Adriano Carvalho from Gracewell of Newbury, who were both highly commended for their contributions - with judges commending their skill and effort in producing their dishes.

Both Sunrise and Gracewell are renowned for the quality of their food, and have enjoyed another successful year with Simon Lewis also representing Gracewell of Frome at the 2017 NACC Care Chef finals alongside Craig Hanley from Sunrise of Cardiff and Adam Hedges from Sunrise of Mobberley.

Damian said:

“I am honoured to have won ‘Care Chef of the Year’, and so pleased that my work to create a dish which all of the residents can enjoy was recognised.

“I look forward to my recipe being shared across all of the Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare homes, and will definitely be taking inspiration from all the other amazing recipes featured in the competition.”

Christopher Dean, Director of Dining and Procurement at Sunrise Senior Living said:

“I would like to congratulate Damian on his win, and thank all of the chefs who took part for delivering some imaginative and exciting contributions, which will now be shared across the Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare homes.

“The high standards shown by each chef involved highlights their creativity, skill and passion for creating delicious and nutritious food for our residents. “

Sophie Murray, Head of Nutrition and Hydration at Sunrise Senior Living said:

“It is important to recognise that mealtimes are about more than simply consuming nutritious food – they are also social occasions which our residents, dysphagic or not, should enjoy.

This competition was all about celebrating food and highlights how seriously Sunrise and Gracewell take providing high-quality, nutritious, and delicious meals for all of our residents. I’m sure it will inspire some imaginative and exciting new meals from our chefs.”

Mark Taylor, Foodservice Customer Collector at Premier Foods said:

“Premier Foods was very excited to be part of this competition with Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare. At Premier Foods, we pride ourselves on supplying quality ingredients that contribute to healthy lifestyles, and the chefs at Sunrise and Gracewell use them to full effect.

“We already work so closely with the care chefs at Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare by providing their dysphagic training, and it was fantastic to see the dishes the chefs came up with.”